Saturday, August 4, 2012

Review: The Lost Code by Kevin Emerson

Book: The Lost Code (The Atlanteans #1) - Kevin Emerson
Genre: Science Fiction / Young Adult
Available Formats: Ebook | Hardcover 
Publication Date: May 22nd, 2012 by Katherine Tegen Books
Version Reviewed: Hardcover
Where Did I Get This Book: Library
First Sentence: "The morning after I arrived at Camp Eden, I drowned for the first time."
Description: What is oldest will be new, what was lost shall be found.

The ozone is ravaged, ocean levels have risen, and the sun is a daily enemy. But global climate change is not something new in the Earth's history.

No one will know this better than less-than-ordinary Owen Parker, who is about to discover that he is the descendant of a highly advanced ancient race--a race that took their technology too far and almost destroyed the Earth in the process.

Now it is Owen's turn to make right in his world what went wrong thousands of years ago. If Owen can unlock the lost code in his very genes, he may rediscover the forgotten knowledge of his ancestry . . . and that "less-than-ordinary" can evolve into "extraordinary."

Kevin Emerson's thrilling novel is Book One of the Atlanteans series--perilous adventures in a grimly plausible dystopian future, fueled by high-stakes action, budding romance, and a provoc-ative question: What would you do if you had the power to save humanity from its own self-destruction?

The Lost Code by Kevin Emerson takes an entirely new approach to a type of book we've seen before. We've all read young adult adventures and we've all read stories that deal with mythical civilizations of the past. The current trend seems to be focused on Greek Mythology. Anyways, marrying these two ideas together has proven to be successful in the past and it proves to be just an almighty combination now.

There are a few reasons that The Lost Code is able to stand out from other young adult books that use this formula. The first of which is obvious, the ancient mythological civilization that it centers around; Atlantis. Yes, Atlantis. I for one, have never read a young adult in which teenagers realize they are descendents of the mythical and MAGICAL Atlanteans. For me, that was an instant selling point. I don't know what it is about the idea of Atlantis, but I find it completely intriguing. Maybe there is that tiny voice in the back of my mind that says, what if. What if there really was an Atlantis? Whatever the reason, I can tell you that I find it all fascinating. Even if you don't have a secret obsession with the underwater city, I guarantee you'll enjoy this book. Like I said before, with this one, Emerson is certainly bringing something new to the table. Sure, it's an age old concept, but we haven't seen it applied to this type of story before.

The second aspect of the story that makes  The Lost Code a standout is the setting. Not only does Emerson create an amazing, visually stunning version of Atlantis, but he creates an equally engaging dystopian world. You see, the story takes place in the future, the society is on the brink of destruction. Owen, our make character, has spent most of his life living underground, hiding from the harmful radiation of the sun. At the start of the book, he has traveled to Camp Eden, which is basically a model of what the world used to be - all within a protective bubble. It's all described in a wonderful fashion that keeps you interested and fascinated as the story progresses.

Let's talk about the characters for a moment. In our narrator Owen, we find a likable,interesting character that is easy to relate to. Owen doesn't quite know where he fits in the world and it is something he struggles with daily. I'm pretty sure we've all got a little bit of that within us and it makes it easy to empathize and connect with him. That being said, I'm curious to know his age. Going into the story I just assumed he was in his mid-teens (maybe 15 or 16), but as the story progressed I put him more around 13. I'm basing this guess on a few different things; his thoughts and behavior and the fact that the group of campers who oversee him are supposed to be older than he is. These campers including his love interest Lilly, act as though they are their mid-teens so that puts Owen a rung below. It's not that this necessarily bothered me, I just was expecting something else - especially with the teenage boy on the book cover.

The second main character within the book was Lilly. Like I stated before, Lilly was Owen's love interest. This is where I had my only real complaint with the book. First of all, let me just say that I loved Lilly. She was adventurous, intelligent and showed such spirit. However, Lilly and Owen together did not work for me. It all felt a bit clunky and unnecessary. There was really no need for them to develop a romantic relationship; especially one that didn't really work.

The second complaint I have with The Lost Code is really a minor one. It was rather long and the writing was drawn out at times. Every so often the author would throw in these little news blips that Owen would hear off the radio or whatever. At least, that's what I assumed was happening. Anyways, I'll be the first to admit, I skipped over almost all of them. Whenever I saw long italicized paragraphs I just trucked right on through. They didn't really contribute to the story and they just threw the reader out of 'the zone'. 

All things considered, I must admit that I enjoyed The Lost Code immensely. It's got a cool storyline that is jam packed with adventure, danger and excitement. I would recommend it to fans of the Gone series by Michael Grant, The Virals series by Kathy Reichs. I will definitely be continuing this one!

Favorite Quotes
A hand closed over my wrist. I looked over, and there was Lilly, cast in moonlight and blue, hair snaking around her, a siren calling to me: 'come on.'
History is always written to serve the powerful.
Time passed, unknowable amounts and I had no sense for it. There was just the blanket and grass, the cold  of rain and the heat of Lilly like a small sun beside me, and we lay there until the clouds left and the SimStars reappeared. 
The night felt like it had gone by so fast, yet every second of it was bright and burned into my mind, and I felt sure I would never forget any of it, almost like I'd left some part of me back there on that island, a piece carved out that wouldn't travel into whatever came next. It would just stay behind, living that night over and over.
I felt something fall away inside. Some floor, and from beneath it boiled up something dark, black and bitter, craving vengeance. 
"Shut up, butcher," snapped Aliah. 'We know what you are."

1 comment:

Allison said...

I've had my eye on this book for a while for the sheer fact that the cover looks interesting. After reading your review, I have to pick this book up. It sounds like it's right up my alley and I know that I would love it. That's my favorite thing about YA books! I love wondering, what if I was a descendant of the people of Atlantis, what if one of my parents was a Greek God? This one sounds great, thanks for the great review :)

Allison from

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